Vaclav Neumann - A Champion of Czech music but his Mahler was no slouch either.

Vaclav Neumann With The NHK Symphony In Concert – 1984 – Past Daily Mid-Week Concert

Vaclav Neumann – A Champion of Czech music but his Mahler was no slouch either.

NHK Symphony – Vaclav Neumann, Conductor – Naoko Ihara, Alto – December 12, 1984 – NHK-FM, Tokyo –

Over to Tokyo this week for a concert by the NHK Symphony, guest conducted by Vaclav Neumann and featuring Naoko Ihara, alto with the Ueno Gakuen College of Music Choir and the Affiliated Elementary School of Kunitachi College of Music Children’s Choir in a performance of Mahler’s Symphony Number 3.

Unlike many other famed conductors, by the time he became head of the Czech Philharmonic, Vaclav Neumann was already an established artist of international renown. He started his professional career as a violinist (he studied at the Prague Conservatory with Josef Micka) and concurrently took conducting lessons (from Pavel Dědeček and Metod Doležil). Following the end of World War II, be became a violist of the Czech Philharmonic, which from 1942 to 1948 was led by Rafael Kubelík. Neumann, however, wanted above all to be a conductor and definitely decided to pursue this path in 1947, after leaving the Smetana Quartet. A watershed in his career came in March 1948, when he had to stand in for Kubelík, who had suddenly fallen ill. In the same year, Kubelík emigrated and Neumann took over the majority of his scheduled concerts, conducting performances in Prague and other cities in Czechoslovakia. He led the Czech Philharmonic during its tour of East Germany and in 1949 conducted Smetana’s My Country at the opening concert of the Prague Spring music festival. Nevertheless, at the time he lacked sufficient experience to head as renowned an orchestra as the Czech Philharmonic and hence after a year left his post of chief conductor. From 1951 to 1954, Neumann served as music director of the Plzeň Radio Orchestra (today’s Plzeň Philharmonic), in 1954 he became conductor of the Brno Region Symphony Orchestra, which two years later he merged with the Brno Radio Symphony Orchestra, thus giving rise to the Brno State Philharmonic. Subsequently, he joined the Prague Symphony Orchestra, with whom he made his debut at the Komische Oper in Berlin. In 1957, he was appointed its chief conductor.

Enjoy the concert:


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